City says Ice Ribbon could be closed for repairs for 'at least 3 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City says Ice Ribbon could be closed for repairs for 'at least 3 weeks'

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane city officials say the Ice Ribbon at Riverfront Park remains closed Monday and it could take at least three weeks for it to reopen. 

“Along with citizens, we are disappointed that we’ve lost ice for a time. But safety is always our top priority. We are working diligently with experts to ensure a safe experience before re-opening, and utilizing all resources to do that this season,” said Leroy Eadie, Director of Parks and Recreation.  

A vessel that connects to a compressor - equipment that is key to forming and maintaining the ice at the ribbon - needs to be replaced because it has a crack in it that is beyond repair. The city says the vessel is still under warranty by the manufacturer.

Without this equipment, Riverfront staff have been unable to maintain ice since Saturday afternoon, and the existing ice has been removed. The city says the manufacturer needs time to build a replacement vessel and ship it from Toronto. Then it will be installed, safety tested, and permitted before new ice can be developed.

On Saturday afternoon Spokane firefighters responded to an ammonia leak alarm at the Ice Ribbon. The ribbon was immediately evacuated and shut down. On Monday the city confirmed that the leak was in a mechanical room. No guests were exposed to the ammonia and no injuries were reported. Ammonia can burn the skin, eyes, throat and lungs if it's inhaled.

The city says Saturday's leak was not the first one to be reported, but an earlier leak didn't trigger an alarm. A repair was made after the leak was found. On Saturday a contractor detected a new leak. They restarted the system and made the leak worse, which triggered the weekend alarm. 

A welder attempted to patch the leak, but it was determined the leak was unrepairable.

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